As left out of Stovepipe it was definitely hot! 115* and the wind was just blowing. We had full supplies once again and soon were back at the crewing job.
Ed, aka, The Jester, just wrote a great piece on Crewing and hits it right on the dot! Crewing is a grind, a totally commitment to the runner of every need. There is no breaks in small crews and one vehicle, its work, all the time. Trying to make the runner eat, drink, take salts, drink more, make sure they pee, drink more, stay cool, give them ice in there hat, spray them down, drink more, salt again, eat more, and continues from about mile 1 till 134 miles! Cath started out to be fairly ease and was the standard of crewing duties but as the wheels started to come off going up Town's Pass things became much more interesting.
As we approached the Mothership, she sat down in a chair and was stating that her stomach was just not happy, achy, hot, burning, all the good stuff with a race like BW. Then she suddenly said "I think I am going to be sick! OMG!!! " and sure enough, she was. I really believe that throwing up caught her off guard and spooked her as she has never thrown up in a race event and as she started to apologize for her poor performance and vomiting, yes, runners do lose there minds out here! We all quickly said for her to forget about apologizing, that it was okay and that this is "normal". After a short freak out moment Cath was calm and we were getting her some water, then she was asking if we had any ideas what to do. We talked with her in that this type of thing is okay and that her system just needed a reset. She was tired of thing we we were giving her and she stated she could not do anything else sweet, which was pretty much her whole bag of nutrition, so right now we were in a little bit of a situation. A few minutes had passed and she thought she wanted to try moving and as she stood up, here comes Round #2, quickly she sat back down and threw up again but mostly liquid this time. As I stood there examining the contents of both vomits, I was like okay there is all the avocado, grapes we gave you over an hour ago and of course the orange color drink. I know this sounds weird but really this is good information as to what's being digested and what is not, pretty much everything we gave her over the last hour had not been digested which means her stomach had completely shut down. Now we had new LIFE! Molly and I were like, Yeah, High-5!! Now we can start with a new stomach and add slowly but the problem was we had nothing from the Runner food cooler that would work. I had thought about it just after the Round 1 but didn't say anything.
Then Molly asked me.. "What about an Isagenix Shake, John".. I quickly said I think so and we mixed up a light mixture of the IsaLean Shake Vanilla. We told her to just try baby sips of it and not big drinks, her stomach was still sensitive and needed time to bring things in slowly. She briefly asked what it was and we simply told her it was an Isagenix shake that Molly had used in India when her stomach was very upset late in the race. As Cath looked at it in the Isagenix shaker she had a puzzled look, smelled it a little and then took a little sip. She quickly said "oh that's quite nice, easy on the stomach" YES! it was going to work. As she sat and rested for about another 25 minutes sipping the shake she was feeling better. Cath then decided it was time to get moving, and with the wind still blowing 20+mph it would help warm her up. She stated walking and took the Isagenix shake with her and would continue to use the IsaLean shake the remainder of the race! It was really the only thing that helped keep her stomach calm and absorb nutrition to keep her going. She would also continue to use Aqualyte and some juice's.
The wind would simply not let up and we were so looking forward to getting to the top of Town's Pass to start making our way down and towards Panamint. But shortly after starting back she needed to stop again but this time it seemed to be more sleep deprived and beat down from the wind and sun, so we cleared out a small space for her and she laid down for about 30 minutes. We also took a short nap but I sat outside the Mothership looking at the Milky Way's Galactic Center which is so visible from Death Valley. Simply Amazing!! As I sat there thinking about lots of things I happened to notice that several other runners/crews were behind us and not moving either, it was almost like everyone decided to take rest at the same time because for the whole time we were there no one closed on us or passed us. After the short nap Cath woke up and started to walk still sipping the shake and funny thing, asked how many people passed us. Matter of fact, Zero I said, everyone is stopped for some reason or other but now made it more interesting as everyone started to move about the same time, weird!
Soon, there it was, the top! and Cath was super happy, the climb/road from Hell was finally over the hump and she started on the downhill. Now she was able to pick up her pace and the wind seemed to let up some in areas. She was also feeling better in her stomach as that rest time seemed to help a lot, secrete key in a race like this.
As we moved closer to Panamint we had the same plan as before, stop and top off with gas, pick up any snacks and get ice. All done quickly as she checked her in and she moved on and we would catch up, Darryl was pacing with her at this time. We also pick up some awesome Chicken Noodle Soup which would help Cath out as well.
Panamint Springs: Mile 72.3 Time: 17 hours 48 minutes. (well ahead of the 28 hour cut off to this location)
On to Darin, Keeler and Lone Pine! Part 3.